‘Schmidt-Cotter could join forces’

first_imgTest rivals Joe Schmidt and Vern Cotter are already plotting behind the scenes to pull off their “ultimate goal” of forming a New Zealand coaching dream team, according to Paul Tupai. Cotter drew Schmidt into his Bay of Plenty backroom staff straight from teaching in 2003, and the duo pulled off the province’s first Ranfurly Shield victory in their one campaign together. After that surprise 33-28 victory over Auckland, Schmidt swapped Bay of Plenty for the Blues, while Cotter became forwards coach at the Crusaders. Schmidt later joined Cotter’s coaching staff at Clermont before striking out on his own in his trophy-laden stint with Leinster. Tupai made his 100th Bay of Plenty appearance in that famous Ranfurly Shield win, and believes Schmidt and Cotter were the perfect coaching foil even back then. Current All Blacks boss Steve Hansen’s contract expires in 2017, by which time Tupai believes his two former coaches could be ready to step into the breach. “Vern’s a Bay boy by heart so he was a passionate coach, and him bringing Joe in just levelled things out a bit really,” said Tupai. “Back then he was more the go through them, smash through them and be tough as rugby players, then you had Joe at the back there saying ‘we can go around them’. “He was the level-headed and calm one who brought everything back down to the right level. “They just complemented each other really and Joe’s a good man, his background as a schoolteacher really shows when he talks to people. “They were both extremely professional and very well-prepared coaches. They just came at it from different perspectives and that made a great blend. “They would never leave a stone unturned when it came to preparing for a match, that’s for sure. “A lot of the backs that year would talk about and really respect Joe for the level of detail he would bring to preparations and what he would demand of them. “He was all about skills, being able to pass to the same level off both hands, things like that, and reading the game. He would always be trying to work out a way to get around a team rather than just bash through them, a nd that’s what he was good at to be fair. “Vern would want to get the ball down the middle and send the forwards through opponents, but when he wanted to find a way to go around a team, that’s where Joe would come in. “So you put those two together, you end up getting through, as well as round teams.” Press Association And he believes Ireland boss Schmidt and Scotland chief Cotter are perfect All Blacks coaching candidates, as the old friends prepare for their first Test clash in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations finale. “I think coaching the All Blacks together is probably their ultimate goal,” Tupai told Press Association Sport, of Schmidt and Cotter’s career plans. “I don’t really know how it works in New Zealand for that, I assume you have to get in line and wait your chance. “But there’s no doubt they would want to be in that handful of coaches that will be getting the job at some point down the line. “I think they have to be in that category to be honest, with everything they’ve achieved already, and no doubt with more to come. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they already have a plan to be fair, to try to get back there together. And they’ve definitely got to be up there. “They’ve gained a huge amount of respect in rugby circles right across the world for what they’ve achieved, and that carries a lot of clout I think.” Former Bay of Plenty number eight Cotter took the reins with Scotland this season after a hugely successful stint with French giants Clermont Auvergne. Former Samoa number eight Tupai underpinned Bay of Plenty’s Ranfurly Shield win of 2004 that put Schmidt and Cotter on the coaching map, and 11 years on he believes the two Kiwis harbour a private long-term plan to team up again with the All Blacks. Tupai still churns out quality performances with Championship club Bedford Blues aged 40, but will forever rate taking the Ranfurly Shield off Auckland among his finest moments in more than two decades of rugby. last_img read more

Bama looks to sweep Miss. St.

first_img Associated Press Bama looks to sweep Miss. St. February 24, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditAlabama (15-12, 7-7) vs. Mississippi State (17-10, 8-6)Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Mississippi; Tuesday, 9 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Mississippi State seeks revenge on Alabama after dropping the first matchup in Tuscaloosa. The teams last faced each other on Jan. 8, when the Crimson Tide outshot Mississippi State from the field 49.1 percent to 37.7 percent and hit 11 more foul shots on their way to the 21-point victory.center_img LEADING THE CHARGE: Mississippi State’s Reggie Perry has averaged 17.3 points and 9.8 rebounds while Robert Woodard II has put up 11.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. For the Crimson Tide, Kira Lewis Jr. has averaged 17.4 points, five rebounds and 5.2 assists while John Petty Jr. has put up 15.3 points and 6.9 rebounds.KEY FACILITATOR: Lewis has accounted for 48 percent of all Alabama field goals over the last five games. The sophomore guard has 38 field goals and 38 assists in those games.WINLESS WHEN: Alabama is 0-6 when scoring fewer than 76 points and 15-6 when scoring at least 76.UNDEFEATED WHEN: Alabama is a perfect 5-0 when it holds an opponent to 68 points or fewer. The Crimson Tide are 10-12 when opponents score more than 68.PACE OF PLAY: The upbeat Alabama offense has averaged 77.5 possessions per game, the third-most in Division I. Mississippi State has not been as uptempo as the Crimson Tide and is averaging only 67.2 possessions per game (ranked 277th, nationally). ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comlast_img read more

Monahan, Backlund score 2G each, Flames beat Bruins 5-2

first_imgThe tie didn’t last long. Monahan scored his 20th of the season 13:25 into the second on a one-timer from the slot off a pass from Gaudreau, putting the Flames back up 2-1.The Flames went on a power play when Boston’s Matt Grzelcyk was called for roughing 14:32 into the second. The Flames won the faceoff after the penalty and scored five seconds later when Monahan redirected a shot by Tkachuk.Tkachuk put Calgary up 1-0 when he backhanded in a rebound after a slap shot by Backlund went wide and took a hard bounce off the end boards.Wagner poked in a loose puck during a scrum 13:09 into the third to pull Boston within 3-2.Backlund set himself up with a pass off the boards coming up the ice and beat Rask with 1:30 left in the third. NOTES: Nick Ritchie made his debut for the Bruins the night after coming over in a trade with Anaheim at Monday’s deadline. … D Derek Forbort, traded to Calgary by Los Angeles on Monday, and Gustafsson played their first game for the Flames. … The Bruins honored G Jaroslav Halak in a pre-game ceremony for playing in 500 career games. Halak, who backed up Rask on Tuesday, reached the milestone Dec. 3 with a 2-0 shutout of Carolina. … Boston C Par Lindholm played in his 100th career game and got an assist on Wagner’s goal.UP NEXTFlames: At Nashville on Thursday night.Bruins: Host Dallas on Thursday night.___ David Rittich finished with 26 saves for Calgary.Brad Marchand scored a shorthanded goal for the Bruins, who were playing their first home game since Feb. 15 and came out flat after a four-game road trip. The Bruins lost back-to-back games for the first time since a four-game skid in early December.It was just the third home loss in regulation for the Bruins, who still lead the NHL with 90 points (39-13-12).Tuukka Rask finished with 26 saves for Boston.Marchand tied it at 1-all 10:08 into the second on a breakaway, scoring his 27th career shorthanded goal and extending his point streak to seven straight games. February 25, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditBOSTON (AP) — Sean Monahan scored a pair of goals 1:12 apart in the second period and the Calgary Flames beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Tuesday night.Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists for the Flames and Erik Gustafsson picked up an assist in his debut for Calgary after coming over in a deal with Chicago at Monday’s trade deadline.Mikael Backlund also scored twice for Calgary, helping seal the win on a goal with 1:30 left in the third and adding an empty-netter in the final minute. The Flames remained on top of the Western Conference wild card standings with their first victory in Boston since Nov. 25, 2016.center_img Monahan, Backlund score 2G each, Flames beat Bruins 5-2 Associated Press More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more

The Latest: African Nations Championship postponed

first_img March 17, 2020 Africa’s second biggest international soccer tournament has been postponed.Organizer the Confederation of African Football say the African Nations Championship scheduled for April 4-25 in Cameroon has been postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament features national teams made up of players who play in their domestic leagues.Africa’s top tournament, the African Cup of Nations, is due to be played early next year, also in Cameroon.Cameroon was still willing to host the African Nations Championship, CAF said, but the measures taken by other African governments to restrict travel made it difficult to go ahead.Morocco and Rwanda had already withdrawn for the tournament. The NCAA is suspending normal building operations at its main office in Indianapolis, starting Wednesday through at least April 3. The NCAA national office staff will work remotely and continue normal operations. The NCAA says employees will continue to be accessible. The length of the suspension will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.___1:50 p.m.International Ice Hockey Federation chief René Fasel says it’s only a matter of time before the executive council is left with no choice but to cancel the men’s world championships because of the coronavirus pandemic.Fasel spoke to The Associated Press shortly after the IIHF canceled the Division I Group A and B world championships, which were to be held in Europe in late April. ___12:40 p.m.The Los Angeles Chargers have donated $250,000 to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to make sure hunger relief services continue uninterrupted in Los Angeles County during the coronavirus pandemic. The Food Bank says the money will be able to help children and their families as children stay home from school, as well as seniors who are self-isolating and hourly workers who are experiencing interruptions to their schedules and paychecks.___ The league announced the move Tuesday. The ACC had previously suspended those activities “until further notice.”The ACC’s statement said the cancellations came after a unanimous decision among league member schools, with Commissioner John Swofford saying league officials are “particularly disappointed for our student-athletes.” ___11:50 a.m.The French Open has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The French Tennis Federation announced Tuesday that the clay-court event will run from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4. It is the first Grand Slam tennis tournament affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Main-draw competition was supposed to start in Paris on May 24. UEFA plans to play the tournament next year from June 11 to July 11. The 24-team competition is being hosted in 12 different countries.The postponement clears space to give national leagues and the Champions League and Europa League a chance to finish their seasons by June 30.European soccer is in a shutdown and it is unclear when games can resume.___2:15 p.m. The Hurricanes also say VAB Catering, PNC Arena’s food service, will donate food to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, a Raleigh-based nonprofit.___3:35 p.m.The Southeastern Conference has canceled sporting events for the rest of the season.The events had been suspended. The league announced the decision Tuesday, becoming the last of the Power Five conferences to cancel all competition. 1 p.m.The European Tour is postponing the Andalucia Masters that was schedule for April 30 to May 3 at Valderrama in southern Spain.That makes six regular European Tour golf tournaments have been postponed because of the new coronavirus. A total of eight events on the tour’s worldwide schedule have been postponed, including the Match Play and the Masters.The tournament is hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation. The tour said it would try to reschedule.Europe’s last event was on March 8 at the Qatar Masters. Next on the schedule would be the GolfSixes in Portugal on May 10-11. FIFA also plans to donate $10 million to the World Health Organization for tackling the new coronavirus.___4:35 p.m.Three major one-day classic bike races in France and Belgium have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.Race organizer Amaury Sport Organisation says Paris-Roubaix, the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege will be postponed. Luis Rubiales says the federation is not contemplating calling off the rest of the season and awarding the title to Barcelona, which was leading the league when it was suspended. Rubiales says the goal is to finish all competition by June 30, but they may be extended beyond that if necessary.He says he would prefer altering the calendar next season instead of making changes that could keep this one from finishing fairly.___2:40 p.m.National Letter of Intent signings for college athletes have been suspended until April 15. The IOC says 43% of places at the games have yet to be confirmed.___2:25 p.m.This year’s European Championship has been postponed for one year.UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says the spreading coronavirus “makes football and all life in Europe quite impossible.” The BHA says the decision was taken “to protect essential emergency services and the health and welfare of staff working in the racing industry.”BHA chief executive Nick Rust says its “first duty is to the health of the public, our customers and to racing industry participants and staff,” while saying it will do its best to support those whose livelihoods depend on what Rust said is a “4 billion pound industry.”___1 p.m.The men’s and women’s European gymnastics championships have been canceled. The Latest: African Nations Championship postponed In an open letter on the F1 website, Carey wrote: “We apologize to those fans affected by the cancellation in Australia, as well as the postponement of the other races to date. These decisions are being made … in rapidly changing and evolving circumstances, but we believe they are the right and necessary ones. We also want to extend our thoughts to those already affected, including those in the Formula 1 family.”On Monday, tire provider Pirelli said one of its staff tested positive for the virus and was undergoing treatment in Melbourne.___11:45 a.m.Soccer in Russia has been suspended until April 10. ___3:50 p.m.The Carolina Hurricanes have announced plans to compensate arena and team event staff for lost wages with the NHL season on hold due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.The team says hourly staff will be compensated based on expected workload during the final seven regular-season home games.Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon and the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation, a charitable arm of the franchise, are funding the plans. The team says Hurricanes players have also made a “generous donation” to help event-staff employees affected. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his wife, Sarah, are donating $100,000 to help provide assistance in Atlanta during the coronavirus outbreak.The donation will be split between two charitable organizations: Atlanta Community Food Bank, which provides food to the needy, and Giving Kitchen, which offers emergency assistance to food service workers.Ryan says he and his wife have a lot of friends in the restaurant industry and want to “create awareness for one of the industries that’s going to struggle during this time.”The Falcons’ starting quarterback for the past 12 years, Ryan has been heavily involved in the community through the Boys and Girls clubs and raising money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.1:55 p.m. 4:50 p.m.FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he is ready to ask China to postpone next year’s 24-team Club World Cup to make space for the European Championship and Copa America.Infantino says he will propose talks with the Chinese government and the country’s soccer officials in a call Wednesday with a panel of FIFA vice presidents.That group will include the leaders of European and South American soccer who pushed their marquee championships back one year because of the coronavirus outbreak.The inaugural 24-team Club World Cup was set to open on June 17, 2021, in China as a signature project of Infantino. The FIFA president suggests rescheduling the club tournament to later in 2021, or in either 2022 or 2023. Kelmendi is the first athlete from Kosovo to win an Olympic gold medal.Coach Driton Kuka is among the group. None of them has been infected by the virus.Kosovo has had 16 coronavirus cases. All sports and other entertainment or cultural activities have been suspended in the country and schools, cafes, restaurants, gyms and pools have been closed.___9:55 a.m. The cycling season has been turned upside down by the outbreak. Prestigious events like the Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and some early Belgian classics have been canceled or postponed. The Giro d’Italia also won’t start at its scheduled May date.ASO has yet to make a decision on the Tour de France. That race is scheduled to start in Nice on June 27.___noonThe Atlantic Coast Conference has canceled all athletics competition and practices through the rest of the 2019-20 academic year amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The Diamond League has called off its first three track meets of the season.The Diamond League was scheduled to start in Qatar next month. Two meets in China in May were to follow. The Diamond League says travel restrictions and disrupted preparations caused by the coronavirus outbreak have made it impossible to stage those competitions on time.The season is now tentatively set to begin in Stockholm on May 24.Only one of the three canceled meets has been rescheduled. The event in Shanghai is now set for Aug. 13. The meet in Qatar and the second Chinese meet have been postponed indefinitely but could be restaged after the Diamond League final in September.The 2020 season was supposed to see a shift in how the Diamond League is run with an extended 15-meet season and fewer events at each. ___3:20 p.m.The IOC says there is “no need for any drastic decisions at this stage” about staging the Tokyo Olympics with more than four months until the opening ceremony.After consulting with sports bodies about the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, the IOC says “any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.”The International Olympic Committee says financial interests will not dictate its decisions “thanks to its risk management policies and insurance.” ___1:05 p.m.All horse racing in Britain will be suspended starting Wednesday.It was the last remaining major sport to be continuing in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.But the British Horseracing Authority says the race meetings in Wetherby and Taunton — being staged without fans on Tuesday — will be last until the end of April. The Collegiate Commissioner’s Association, which administers the letter of intent used by NCAA Division I and II athletes, says the suspension will be re-evaluated on or before April 15.The Division I football signing period began Feb. 5 and was scheduled to end April 1. It will be extended 30 days after it resumes. Most FBS schools have filled their 2020 classes.The Division I basketball signing period was scheduled to begin April 15 and end May 20.___2:30 p.m. The decision includes championship, spring football games and pro day workouts for NFL teams run by SEC schools.Team and individual practices and meetings remain suspended through at least April 15.Earlier in the day, the Atlantic Coast Conference canceled all spring competition, plus all athletic-related activities, including practices.___12:30 p.m. The 16-team world championships are scheduled for Switzerland starting May 8. But Fasel says, if he had to make the decision today, “there is no chance we can skate.”Fasel says the IIHF is consulting with its host and marketing partners and insurance carrier to determine what contractual obligations must be met before deciding to cancel the tournament.The challenges to go ahead with hosting the tournament are many, Fasel said, ranging from health directives in place limiting attendance to travel bans making it difficult for nations to send their teams.Another issue is players lacking practice time, with most of world’s hockey leagues having either indefinitely suspended or canceled their seasons. On Monday, the NHL announced it will wait 45 days before it can provide guidance on when teams can potentially reopen practice.___ The Kentucky Derby has been postponed from May to September because of the coronavirus pandemic.Churchill Downs officials said Tuesday the race will move from May 2 to Sept. 5, marking the first time in 75 years it won’t be run on the first Saturday in May.The last time the first leg of the Triple Crown wasn’t held on the first Saturday in May was in 1945, when the federal government issued a ban on horse racing because of World War II. The ban was lifted on May 8, and the Derby was held on June 9. The only other year the Derby wasn’t held in May was in 1901, when it was raced on April 29.The date change still must be approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission at its meeting Thursday.___ 1:40 p.m.The Kontinental Hockey League and the VTB United League in basketball have suspended play.Both leagues say they will stop until at least April 10.The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL. It had previously said it would pause for a week to draw up a new playoff format. It’s been left with six Russian teams in an eight-team bracket after Finnish team Jokerit and Kazakh team Barys withdrew.___ 1:10 p.m.The Spanish soccer league has offered about 500 coronavirus tests for its clubs.The tests have been distributed prioritizing teams that traveled to risk areas or already have players infected.Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay on Sunday became the first Spanish league player infected with the virus.The distribution of tests began last Thursday as part of the league’s actions to support its clubs during the pandemic. 1:45 p.m.UK Athletics says all clubs and groups should not be training or taking part in competitive races amid the coronavirus outbreak.The guidance follows directives outlined by the British government about limiting social contact.UKA said the suspension also applies to coaching and officiating.___ Associated Press Hertha general manager Michael Preetz says “it was to be expected that the virus would reach the team sooner or later. The most important thing now is that everyone sticks to the rules.”___10:10 a.m.The Kosovo judo team has been self-isolating as it prepares for the Tokyo Olympics.Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi, four other judokas and five staff members have closed themselves in at a training center in Peja, 85 kilometers (50 miles) west of Pristina. ___12:10 p.m.Formula One CEO Chase Carey has apologized to fans for the early part of the series being called of by the coronavirus outbreak.The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne wasn’t canceled last week until teams and drivers forced it. A McLaren team member had tested positive and some drivers had already flown home, but F1 still waited to cancel until just before practices were scheduled to start.The following three races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China have all been postponed. 10:35 a.m.Hertha Berlin’s players and coaching staff are going into quarantine for 14 days after one of the players tested positive for the coronavirus.The Bundesliga club doesn’t say which player was affected.The team had been due to return to training on Tuesday after three days of individual exercise.Hertha doctor Uli Schleicher says “the player complained about the usual symptoms and we immediately separated him from the group. A test then produced a positive result for the virus. All players in our squad must now stay at home for the next two weeks.” The European Gymnastics Union says it tried to find ways to keep its events going despite the spread of the coronavirus but found it impossible because of government restrictions and travel bans.The events offered Olympic qualifying spots.The women’s championships were due to be held in Paris from April 30-May 3, and the men’s championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, from May 27-31.Also called off are European rhythmic gymnastics championships in Ukraine and the European trampoline championship in Sweden, both in May.The UEG says it hopes the events can be rescheduled for the second half of the year. The Russian league was the best attended sports competition still operating in Europe last weekend with more than 33,000 fans at one of its games.The Russian Football Union says its board agreed to immediately suspend all competitions at a meeting Tuesday.That follows a wave of tighter restrictions on public gatherings and events across Russia and a decision by CSKA Moscow to cancel its upcoming game against Zenit St. Petersburg.Fans made ironic references to the virus outbreak at games last week. Fans of Zenit chanted “we’re all going to die” on Saturday and CSKA supporters displayed a banner on Sunday with the club crest and the message: “This virus is inside me. I’m its carrier.”___ The Copa America has been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak.South American soccer body CONMEBOL says the tournament in Colombia and Argentina will be played between June 11 and July 11.CONMEBOL President Alejandro Domínguez says “it is an extraordinary measure for an unexpected situation, and it answers the fundamental need to avoid an exponential development of the virus.”___10 a.m. Oakland Athletics president Dave Kaval has invited a 39-year-old A’s fan named Justin, who posted on Twitter he is a “very healthy” Type 1 diabetic with the coronavirus, to throw out the first pitch on opening day — whenever that is.Kaval wrote on Twitter: “Get well soon! The whole (at)Athletics nation is sending you positive thoughts. How is your arm? Would be honored to have you throw out the first pitch opening day!”___8:05 p.m.The president of the Spanish soccer federation has dismissed the idea of crowning Barcelona as league champion if the competition can’t resume because of the coronavirus pandemic. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):___9:05 p.m. China has already resumed a partial track and field schedule after the virus outbreak subsided. It was supposed to host the world indoor championships this month in Nanjing but that event was moved to 2021.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Grades: Badgers stumble, especially with poor special teams play

first_imgDespite ultimately finishing with a 5.0-yards-per-carry, Montee Ball and Wisconsin’s rushing attack took a while to get going Saturday night. UW finished with only 89 yards.[/media-credit]Every week, Herald Sports will look back and evaluate the most recent game by the Wisconsin football team on a scale of zero to five.The Badgers suffered their second consecutive loss Saturday night, falling to Ohio State 33-29 at Ohio Stadium. The loss drops Wisconsin into a three-way tie for second place in the Big Ten Leaders Division, with a conference record of 2-2 (6-2 overall).Quarterbacks – 4 out of 5Fifth-year senior Russell Wilson had a more polished game than he did against Michigan State, completing 20 of 32 passes for 253 and three touchdowns. His feet allowed him to avoid some sacks as well, and he was especially savvy in UW’s last two drives, throwing a perfect ball to Jared Abbrederis in the back of the end zone during the first and finding him wide open downfield on the second.Nevertheless, Wilson’s decision-making was suspect at times. He began the fourth quarter with a costly intentional grounding call that moved the Badgers to their own 6-yard line, and his second-to-last throw of the game was to a wide receiver that was not open and unable to score. However, a flag for pass interference gave him another chance.Backfield – 3 out of 5The Wisconsin backfield was held to under 100 yards rushing for the first time in nearly two years, but the blame doesn’t rest squarely on the backs, nor can one forget about the production in the air.Running back Montee Ball and fullback Bradie Ewing provided an essential safety net for Wilson to rely on throughout the game, combining for six catches, 67 yards and one touchdown.Tight ends – 3 out of 5Redshirt sophomore Jacob Pedersen started strong for UW, catching two passes for 11 yards and one first down in the first half. However, Pedersen became pretty quiet after that, catching only one more pass the rest of the game.Wide receivers – 3.5 out of 5Redshirt sophomore Abbrederis came up big for Wisconsin in the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns and finishing the night with six catches for 113 yards. But Wilson didn’t have many other options at wideout as fifth-year senior Nick Toon had another quiet night with 39 yards on three catches.Offensive line – 2.5 out of 5Wisconsin’s front five were dominated by Ohio State’s front seven all game long and could not get anything going on the run, producing just 89 yards on the night. Take away a fourth-quarter 40-yard dash by Ball, and the running game averaged just 1.75 yards per carry.Pass protection was not much better, either, as Wilson was sacked three times and chased around all evening.Defensive line – 3 out of 5On an astounding 58 rushing plays, Ohio State rattled off 268 yards rushing – an average of 4.6 yards per carry. On several occasions, the Badger D-line was able to apply pressure on Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller but only contained him once when redshirt junior Brendan Kelly earned the unit’s lone sack in the first quarter.Miller ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns on the night.Linebackers – 4 out of 5With such a profusion of rushing attacks from Ohio State, the Wisconsin linebacking corps was forced to play a more aggressive game and answered the call with all the starters leading the team in tackles. Redshirt junior Mike Taylor gobbled up an incredible 22 stops on the night, while sophomore Chris Borland pitched in 13 more. Senior Kevin Claxton totaled 10 tackles and scored 2.5 tackles for loss, including one sack.Secondary – 2 out of 5Ohio State didn’t pass the ball much – just 12 times – but it was ultimately the secondary that came away with the most egregious – and costly – of errors. Miller’s 40-yard heave with 20 seconds left landed in the hands of Devin Smith in the middle of the endzone with no defensive back in position to make a play, losing the game for the Badgers.Specialists – 1 out of 5In more ways than one, the special teams unit can claim a good amount of responsibility for Saturday’s loss, as well. The most memorable instance is, of course, the blocked punt in the third quarter, which led to the Buckeyes taking a 17-7 lead.Later in the fourth quarter, Abbrederis opted to field a punt inside his own 5-yard line rather than let it bounce for a touchback. UW eventually punted from its own 6-yard line on that drive, allowing OSU to get a field goal out of its gifted field position.Then, after Wisconsin took the lead with 1:18 remaining, UW’s kickoff team allowed a 42-yard kick return to the OSU 48, setting up the game-winning score.The unit’s only redeeming quality was a fourth-quarter fumble recovery by linebacker Andrew Lukasko on a punt, which eventually led to a Badger touchdown.last_img read more

USC men’s basketball upsets No. 8 UCLA

first_imgA USC team which has established an identity for itself as either a strong starter or solid finisher of games — but never both — put together its most complete performance of the season Wednesday night as it defeated No. 8 UCLA, 84-76, at the Galen Center. The Trojans (18-4, 5-4) have now won their last four games against UCLA, dating back to last season. After falling behind 8-0 early on in regulation, USC stormed back in the first half to take a lead it would never relinquish. A 3-pointer from redshirt sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron put the Trojans ahead of UCLA, 29-28, with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. It was the only lead change of the game, and it was in favor of USC.“Big games, big stage, this is the kind of game where I want to step up,” Aaron said. “I feel comfortable on most nights shooting, but tonight the shots were just falling and I kept putting up the ball.”Aaron was the game-high scorer Wednesday night, as he recorded a career-best 23 points against the Bruins (19-3, 6-3). He finished the game shooting 4-of-9 from beyond the 3-point line and was 6-for-12 from the field overall. After a 3-pointer from junior guard Elijah Stewart early in the second half, the Trojans took their largest lead of the night at 56-41 with 18:05 remaining in regulation. Stewart also hit a 3-point field goal just before the halftime buzzer to give USC a 50-38 lead at the half. The Bruins trailed USC by double-digits at the break despite shooting 16-for-29 from the field in the opening period of play. Entering the game, UCLA was averaging 11.9 turnovers per game offensively. In the first half alone against USC, the Bruins committed 13 turnovers. USC capitalized off of UCLA’s offensive lapses in the first half, as they outscored the Bruins in points off of turnovers, 14-2, to open the game. Overall, USC recorded 12 steals defensively Wednesday night. “Our team has always tried to steal possessions away from opponents this season,” Enfield said. “We’ve had to grind some games out this season … we’ve had to make steals, grab rebounds, block shots and at the same time limit the turnovers on our end offensively. We’ve been able to minimize turnovers, too.”USC held UCLA senior guard Bryce Alford to 3 points on 1-of-7 shooting. Entering the game against the Trojans, Alford was leading the Bruins in scoring this season, averaging 17.2 points per game.The Trojans held a UCLA team that was shooting above 43 percent from the 3-point line to a 6-of-20 performance from beyond the arc. USC freshman guard De’Anthony Melton put together a well-rounded performance in his first career game against UCLA. Melton flirted with a triple-double as he scored 13 points, recorded five assists and hauled in a team-high nine rebounds.. A 3-pointer from Melton with four minutes remaining put USC ahead by 10 points and helped thwart a late UCLA comeback attempt. “We’ve dealt with a lot of personnel losses this season,” Enfield said. “We wouldn’t be 18-4 if it weren’t for the guys we have right now that are playing very well for us.”As a team, USC finished the game shooting 14-for-34  from the 3-point line. Overall, the Trojans shot 27-of -67  from the field against the Bruins. USC’s bench, which was led by Aaron’s career-scoring night, outscored the UCLA bench, 30-17. The Trojans came away with the victory Wednesday night despite being outscored in the paint by UCLA, 42-24. UCLA standout freshman guard Lonzo Ball recorded a double-double against the Trojans, totaling 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in his team’s loss. For the first time this season, the Galen Center was at full-capacity attendance-wise, as 10,258 fans made their way to the Trojans’ home arena to watch them take on UCLA.“It always feels good to be able to beat our rivals in a big game like tonight’s,” said Metu, who also finished with seven rebounds. USC will now take the road to face Washington on Feb. 1.last_img read more

Polina Shemanova wins ACC Player of the Week after record weekend

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ For a second straight week, Syracuse sophomore outside hitter Polina Shemanova has won Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week. This honor comes after Shemanova broke the school’s record for kills in a single game with 36 kills in a five-set win over Louisville.Shemanova also recorded a 34.6 hitting percentage, three block assists and 17 digs against the Cardinals. On Friday night, in a 3-1 win over Notre Dame, Shemanova led the Orange with 22 kills. The sophomore also tallied one service ace and 18 digs against the Fighting Irish. Shemanova has started to hit her stride after struggling at the start of the 2019 campaign. Over the past four games, Shemanova has collected 88 kills and committed an average of just more than eight errors per game. The St. Petersburg, Russia native leads the ACC in kills per set and total points with 406.5. “Don’t think you can ask more from a player coming in, even freshman year when she came in we knew something was really special with Polina,” senior libero Aliah Bowllan said. “We’re really lucky to have her and I don’t think anyone could ask for any more.” Last season, Shemanova was named ACC Freshman of the Year after leading the Orange to their first NCAA tournament appearance in program history. She led Syracuse with 447 kills over 28 games in 2018. This season, she leads all Syracuse players with 357 kills over 19 games. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShemanova will follow up her historic performance against Louisville with a trip to 17-win Boston College, as Syracuse hopes to continue its three-game win streak.   Comments Published on November 4, 2019 at 7:09 pm Contact Nick: nleconom@syr.edulast_img read more

Big 2nd half secures 17-4 Syracuse win over Binghamton

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 15, 2020 at 4:23 pm Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrew Dolan, though, kept it from becoming a blowout and even gave the Bearcats life at the end of the first. After a Binghamton timeout, he deflected a Cook shot that rose into the end zone bleachers. Shots sailed high and wide as the Orange tried to figure out Dolan’s techniques, and Binghamton closed the lanes that Syracuse exposed early — forcing the Orange to win from the top.At one point in the second quarter, Scanlan nodded his head behind the cage and motioned for Rehfuss to cut behind the alley’s defender. The Orange’s assists leader shuffled two steps, but dropped Scanlan’s pass. Lucas Quinn’s shot bounced off the post and nearly off the Carrier Dome’s roof, and then Syracuse turned it over near midfield.Binghamton’s slow offense that tended to fire shots in the final 10 seconds of the shot clock drew a “Shoot the damn ball,” call from the crowd. But it became a game of pace, and Syracuse couldn’t convert the same way, even as it adjusted without Nick Mellen — a top close defender missing the game with a leg injury. “We didn’t shoot well, we kind of jammed it inside and we should’ve been more patient with it,” Desko said. To open the third, though, Scanlan dodged from X and drew a slide from Cook’s defender, leaving the sophomore open for a goal at the left post. A five-goal lead became six. Then, seven. And when Brendan Curry ripped his third of the night past Dolan, 11. “It took us about a quarter to figure out their goalie,” Cook said. “And once we settled down and had their goalie figured out, we just started pouring it on.”Cook notched a hat trick of his own at the right post midway through the fourth, just as Drake Porter began a light jog toward the sideline and Luke Strang replaced him in goal. The last time Syracuse played the Bearcats, it was Porter — then the backup — who opened the fourth quarter in goal. Syracuse hadn’t put the game away at that point Saturday, though.After Cook scored, Strang playfully jogged back toward the bench for the media timeout. He hadn’t even reached the crease yet. But Binghamton’s Dolan started fishing for the ball again. He had prevented the game from reaching blowout status to that point, and avoided the sequence of substitutions that gave third-liners like Andrew Kim rare scoring chances.Yet as third-string faceoff specialist Nate Garlow jogged out to the center from the SU huddle, that’s exactly what happened. Commentscenter_img When Peter Dearth raced over midfield in transition, his short stick rose and left shoulder lowered. A clear attempt that had started with a Drake Porter initiation and ended with a Brett Kennedy execution worked its way to Dearth with no Binghamton defender within a stick’s range at the 40-yard line.It was a similar development to Syracuse’s first goal against Colgate last week: the senior beating midfielders in between the restraining lines, turning one gained step into two. But this time, there was a defender in Dearth’s way.Binghamton’s Salvatore Ienna took two steps forward and then one fall onto the Carrier Dome turf. Dearth’s shoulder met his chest. As Dearth jogged toward the sideline after his ensuing shot went in, he lifted his arm and flexed. From Syracuse’s bench, long-stick midfielder Jared Fernandez did the same.“He’s a big guy so it’s gonna take an even bigger guy to get in his way and knock him down,” Griffin Cook said. It was the final tally in a second quarter where Syracuse held Binghamton scoreless — halting a 2-0 run that closed the opening frame. Pat March’s offense still produced shots at a rate that nearly tripled the Bearcats’, but Teddy Dolan’s 15 saves kept the Orange from turning a comfortable lead into a blowout — at least in the first half. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the last 30 minutes, Syracuse (2-0) outscored the Bearcats (0-2) by seven and secured a 17-4 victory in the final tune-up before next weekend’s tilt against No. 14 Army — its first ranked opponent this year. After a season opener defined by one attack’s seven goals and another’s seven assists, 11 different players coordinated a balanced scoring for SU.“We have a lot of depth,” Cook said “so it’s pretty much just everybody can take their shots, everybody can make their looks.”Last Friday’s opener against Colgate provided a season-long blueprint, even if it became slightly skewed at the end. Transfer Chase Scanlan’s seven goals centralized the 21-goal and 65-shot outburst. The only thing missing, head coach John Desko said Wednesday, was accurate shooting early — it took SU nine minutes to score two goals against the Raiders.And early on, that’s what the Orange did. Three goals on four shots centered around Scanlan again, as he cut after a dodge from Tucker Dordevic and finished for the first goal. Two minutes later, Scanlan shook off Cook at X and switched to his left hand when he arrived in front of the cage, beating Dolan from just outside the crease. From the sideline, Desko thought it was the start of another performance like last week, he said. But Binghamton matched tighter on Scanlan after the opening pair, and he found another role as Syracuse’s facilitator. A balance that 21 goals inevitably hinted at eight days earlier emerged against the Bearcats when the next six Syracuse goals came from six different players — culminating in Dearth’s right before halftime.“We don’t put people in certain spots of the field we kind of move them around,” Desko said. “And Binghamton played a lot of zone defense so that’s when we get guys in different spots.”Will Fudge | Staff Photographerlast_img read more

Kerry and Mayo draw in Croke Park thriller

first_imgThey added a further three points from the boot of Johnny Buckley midway through the second half.The Munster champions led by a point entering the 74th minute of the game before a Paddy Durcan equaliser ensured the two sides must do it again.The replay has been scheduled for 3pm on Saturday at the same venue.Mayo arguably came through a tougher run-in to the game, seeing off Derry and Cork after extra-time in the qualifiers while taking two attempts to beat Roscommon.Kerry enjoyed a more comfortable passage to the last four, but manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice says he doesn’t think that contributed to their slow start. Croke Park will play host to next Saturday’s All-Ireland football semi-final replay after Kerry and Mayo played out a thriller yesterday.Despite awful conditions at headquarters, both sides were able to live up to the pre-match hype for a game which included four goals.Three of those came in the opening 20 minutes, with Andy Moran and Colm Boyle finding the back of the net for Mayo, and Stephen O’Brien getting the goal for the Kingdom.last_img read more

UCL Semi-finals: Ajax beat Spurs 1-0 in first leg

first_img Source: BBC Tottenham face a daunting task to keep their Champions League hopes alive after Ajax secured a crucial advantage in the semi-final first leg.Donny van de Beek’s 15th-minute goal, steered cleverly past Hugo Lloris from close range, put Erik ten Hag’s exciting young side firmly in the driving seat going into the second leg in Amsterdam next Wednesday.Spurs struggled to overcome the absence of forwards Harry Kane and Son Heung-min – injured and suspended respectively – and their job was made even harder by the loss of defender Jan Vertonghen after he suffered a facial injury in the first half.Vertonghen’s problem raised questions about player welfare after he was allowed to continue, albeit for only a few seconds, when he was clearly badly shaken up after an aerial collision involving team-mate Toby Alderweireld and Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana. He eventually had to be supported by two members of the Spurs staff as he went off.Tottenham tried to force the pace after the break with plenty of possession, but it was Ajax who came close to adding a second when David Neres struck the inside of the post with Lloris beaten.Ajax held on to their lead in relative comfort and it will need a stirring Spurs comeback to prevent the Dutch side facing either Barcelona or Liverpool in the final on 1 June.Spurs come up shortTottenham were not lacking in effort on what many regarded as the biggest night in their history, a first Champions League semi-final staged in their magnificent new stadium.It was quality and threat that was missing, with Spurs unable to compensate for the damaging suspension of Son and the injury to top goalscorer Kane.The burden fell on to Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, along with Lucas Moura, but they were simply unable to trouble Ajax on a night of pure frustration for manager Mauricio Pochettino, his players and the supporters who packed this arena and backed their team superbly.Spurs also missed the midfield industry of the injured Harry Winks and were hit further by the loss of defender Vertonghen, who was surprisingly allowed to carry on briefly despite a heavy blow to the head and apparent questioning by referee Mateu Lahoz.The Premier League side are still not out of this tie, and if their Champions League run to the last four has proved anything, it is that they must never be discounted.However, they were second best and lacking in punch here. They will need to produce much better if their dream of advancing to the Champions League final in Madrid is to be realised.last_img read more